Genomic-polygenic evaluation of Angus-Brahman multibreed cattle for feed efficiency and postweaning growth using the Illumina 3K chip. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objectives of this study were to determine the fraction of additive genetic variance explained by the SNP from the Illumina Bovine3K chip; to compare the ranking of animals evaluated with genomic-polygenic, genomic, and polygenic models; and to assess trends in predicted values from these 3 models for residual feed intake (RFI), daily feed intake (DFI), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and postweaning BW gain (PWG) in a multibreed Angus-Brahman cattle population under subtropical conditions. Data consisted of phenotypes and genotypes from 620 bulls, steers, and heifers ranging from 100% Angus to 100% Brahman. Phenotypes were collected in a GrowSafe automated feeding facility (GrowSafe Systems, Ltd., Airdrie, Alberta, Canada) from 2006 to 2010. Variance components were estimated using single-trait genomic-polygenic mixed models with option VCE (Markov chain Monte Carlo) of the program GS3. Fixed effects were contemporary group (year-pen), age of dam, sex of calf, age of calf, Brahman fraction of calf, and heterozygosity of calf. Random effects were additive SNP, animal polygenic, and residual effects. Genomic predictions were computed using a model without polygenic effects and polygenic predictions with a model that excluded additive SNP effects. Heritabilities were 0.20 for RFI, 0.31 for DFI, 0.21 for FCR, and 0.36 for PWG. The fraction of the additive genetic variance explained by SNP in the Illumina 3K chip was 15% for RFI, 11% for DFI, 25% for FCR, and 15% for PWG. These fractions will likely differ in other multibreed populations. Rank correlations between genomic-polygenic and polygenic predictions were high (0.95 to 0.99; P < 0.0001), whereas those between genomic-polygenic and genomic predictions were low (0.65 to 0.74; P < 0.0001). Genomic-polygenic, genomic, and polygenic predictions for all traits tended to decrease as Brahman fraction increased, indicating that calves with greater Brahman fraction were more efficient but grew more slowly than calves with greater Angus fraction. Predicted SNP values were small for all traits, and those above and below 0.2 SNP SD were in multiple chromosomes, supporting the contention that quantitative traits are determined by large numbers of alleles with small effects located throughout the genome.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Elzo, M. A., Lamb, G. C., Johnson, D. D., Thomas, M. G., Misztal, I., Rae, D. O., ... Driver, J. D.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Elzo, MA||Lamb, GC||Johnson, DD||Thomas, MG||Misztal, I||Rae, DO||Martinez, CA||Wasdin, JG||Driver, JD

publication date

  • August 2012